Research Opportunities

Research is one of the most exciting intellectual journeys students can take. The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs encourages all of our undergraduates to conduct or participate in research while at Georgia Tech for several reasons, including:

  • It's a new way of learning international affairs.
  • It's a great way to prepare for graduate or professional school.
  • It helps clarify career goals.
  • It allows students to be part of the incredible research happening at Tech.
  • It gives students tired of traditional lectures a way to make learning exciting.
  • Students work one-on-one with faculty.

Undergraduate research gives students hands-on learning within a chosen field of study under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Students can research for course credit or pay, part-time or full-time. For more information, check out the undergraduate research website.

Research Option

Students may also participate in the Research Option plan offered by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). The Research Option offers students the opportunity for in-depth research experience working under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Requirements for participation in the Research Option include completing nine hours of undergraduate research, at least six of which are on the same topic, writing a research proposal, taking two 1-hour courses, completing the thesis and weekly progress reports. 

You must download and complete the Certificate of Research Option Approval in order to receive the Research Option on your diploma.

Research Programs

Students can conduct research at Georgia Tech in a variety of ways:

  • For credit: International Affairs (INTA) and International Affairs and Modern Languages (IAML) students can receive International Affairs credit towards the degree by participating in independent study courses supervised by a Nunn School faculty.
  • For pay: Students can apply for the President's Undergraduate Research Awards (PURA), which provides funding to students conducting research under faculty supervision.
  • On your own projects: Students can create their own topic of interest and complete a semester-long research project on that topic.
  • On professors' projects: Students can help professors work on their research. Students will usually be involved in collecting data, researching articles to support the project, or reviewing data.

Research Grants

Former Georgia Tech President G. Wayne Clough, an ardent supporter of undergraduate research, established the President's Undergraduate Research Awards (PURA) to encourage and supplement undergraduate research opportunities for all majors. INTA and IAML students have been very successful in securing these PURA grants in the past. Awards of up to $1500 are given to students to conduct research with faculty members through this program.

To Get Started

Interested INTA and IAML students should meet with Nunn School faculty members to talk about possible research options. Students can also research with professors from other schools on campus. For a student considering researching his or her own topic, the student should develop a list of two to three interesting topics before meeting with the professor to narrow the topic.